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John Nunes and Monique Nunes Receive Friend of LWR Awards

Baltimore, November 7, 2013 – At its fall meeting, the Lutheran World Relief board of directors honored LWR’s former president and CEO, the Rev. Dr. John Nunes, and his wife Monique Nunes, with the Friend of LWR Award. John Nunes, currently the Emil and Elfrieda Jochum Chair at Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, IN, served at LWR from 2007 until August of this year. Monique Nunes, assistant director of the Office of Multicultural Programs at Valparaiso, often volunteered and spoke on LWR’s behalf during her husband’s tenure as CEO.

LWR’s fourth president, Nunes led LWR through a strategic planning process in 2009 that resulted in a revised mission statement, newly defined core values, and clearly articulated organizational goals. Nunes also oversaw the organization’s rebranding efforts in 2010 and the launch of its new logo and tagline. During his tenure at LWR, Nunes worked to highlight Lutheran social teachings, drawing distinct theological connections for the mandate of international humanitarian work. LWR grew significantly during his time as president, from a $35 million annual budget in fiscal year 2007 to $45.9 million in 2012. In 2012, LWR assisted 7.8 million people in 35 countries in their efforts to recover from disasters and lift themselves out of poverty.

Former LWR President and CEO John Nunes receives the Friend of LWR Award from LWR Board Chair Gloria Edwards.

“Joy and laughter and some tears were abundant at the farewell reception for John and Monique Nunes,” said LWR board chair Gloria Edwards. “The board of directors gave thanks for the years of vision and leadership as we shared in the work of Lutheran World Relief. As recipients of the Friend of LWR award their continued support will be a blessing to all!”

Interim president and CEO Jeff Whisenant reflected on Nunes’ legacy at LWR. “John has left an indelible mark on LWR,” he noted. “His vision, his academic rigor, his leadership: all have made us a better organization—and not to mention his good humor! We’re grateful for him, and we aim to continue and develop further these strengths he brought to LWR.”

Recounting the evening and his time at LWR, Nunes noted his joy: “I could not keep from smiling during that evening of celebration,” he said. “I am such a blessed man. Blessed to have had my life shaped by the magnanimous vision of Lutheran World Relief. Blessed to have been accompanied in leadership by a superb board and stellar staff colleagues. Blessed, looking forward, for as many years as God gives me grace, to be a champion and cheerleader of LWR!”

About Lutheran World Relief (LWR):
Lutheran World Relief works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long term. With the financial support of US Lutherans and other donors, LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support. LWR works with partners, supporters and technical assistance providers to achieve lasting results. For more information, visit

Lutheran World Relief is a ministry of U.S. Lutherans, serving communities living in poverty overseas.

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